It has been one storm after another this winter. For PennDOT the active winter season means they are digging deep into their salt supply and their budget. “We are just off of our latest snowstorm, which probably across District 8, we got the heaviest snowfall of the season. You know you come up for air, and then you got tonight again we’re supposed to get another round,” said Mike Keiser with PennDot District 8.
PennDOT District 8 has already gone through 84,000 tons of salt. At this point they have hit their 50% mark. “That’s a pretty good place to be considering how significant winter has been so far,” said Keiser. “But I will also say that depends on us getting some deliveries as well. We have about 16,000 tons that we have orders placed, those deliveries are ongoing. We had deliveries yesterday, we have deliveries today to this facility here and that will carry on over the next week or so,” said Keiser.
PennDot has already started dipping into their reserve supply, something that hasn’t been touched in years. “We have two reserve areas throughout the district. It gives us a chance to actually use that material and move it around. It has been there for a few years,” said Keiser.
Another indication of how much salt they are using, “The secretary just signed a waiver, it would allow folks that drive trucks, that deliver salt, give them a little more window of operating time,” said Keiser.
“You don’t know for sure what winter is going to bring but you have to factor in you know a winter like this,” said Keiser. “We are spending more of our maintenance dollars for winter. This spring with the passing of the Transportation Spending Bill you’re still going to see a significant increase in construction. We do budget about 130% of our five-year average for salt so from a financial standpoint, we may have to spend a little bit more money for salt, but that will not affect anything you’re going to see in construction come this spring,” said Keiser.